Report: 5 States at Risk by Armed Groups Near Election

A joint report by groups that monitor civilian militia activity say five states are at high risk for armed activity on and around the Nov. 3 general election. Some of the states are presidential battleground states.

The fives states, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oregon, could see activity in state capitals and surrounding towns, medium-sized cities and suburban areas, according the report released by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) and MilitiaWatch.

The report said North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, California, and New Mexico are at moderate risk.

“Militia groups and other armed non-state actors pose a serious threat to the safety and security of American voters,” the report reads. “Throughout the summer and leading up to the general election, these groups have become more assertive, with activities ranging from intervening in protests to organizing kidnapping plots targeting elected officials.”

In recent weeks attempts have been made to kidnap the Democrat governors of Michigan and Virginia, and a man in Ohio last week claimed a critic of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine asked him to aid in a “house arrest” and trial. All were allegedly tied to coronavirus orders.

“There is an increasing narrative and trend that groups are organizing to ‘supplement’ the work of law enforcement or to place themselves in a narrowly defined ‘public protection’ role in parallel with police departments of a given locale,” according to the report.

Reactions to the Black Lives Matter protests and public health restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, “and other perceived threats to the ‘liberty’ and ‘freedoms’ of these groups,” have driven such groups, the report said.

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